53 c) The Important Issues & polarization (opinion) – additional con’t
The idea of a 28th Amendment has little chance of become reality: “In August 2013, nearly four years after this item began making the rounds on the Internet, two Congressmen (Ron DeSantis of Florida and Matt Salmon of Arizona) did introduce a joint resolution (H.J.RES.55) similar to the first example shown above, proposing an amendment to the Constitution stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting the citizens of the United States that does not also apply to the Senators and Representatives.” That bill will almost certainly die in committee, and it is exceedingly unlikely that any such broadly worded amendment could ever pass muster in Congress without the underlying idea being subject to a good many qualifications.”
The 28th is by no means the only reform idea around.
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.
This would make a nice addition to elements contained in the 28th idea.
53 b) The Important Issues & polarization (opinion) – con’t
Ok, so our representatives are not willing to address the major issues that face our country and they are the only group empowered to make changes. What can we do? One approach would be to through the bums out, but so far we have not been willing to do this through the voting process. In part, this is because we are not offered viable alternatives. I suppose we could consider a forced revolution and in fact you actually here more folks discussing this option. I tend to think we should explore any and all other options first. Most of us have heard a little bit the so called 28th Amendment, it has been around since 2009. Here is a brief summary of that idea. I say idea because that is all it is at this stage. It is not something that is being considered by the legislature: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”
Congressional Reform Act of 20111 . TERM LIMITS 1. 12 years only, one of the possible options below. A. Two Six-year Senate terms B. Six Two-year House terms C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms 2.NO TENURE/NO PENSION A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 3. CONGRESS (past, present & future) PARTICIPATES in SOCIAL SECURITY All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people. 4. CONGRESS CAN PURCHASE THEIR OWN RETIREMENT PLAN Just like each and every other American. 5. CONGRESS WILL NO LONGER VOTE THEMSELVES a PAY RAISE Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 2.5%. 6. CONGRESS LOSES THEIR CURRENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Congress will participate in the same health care system as the American people. 7. CONGRESS MUST EQUALLY ABIDE by ALL LAWS No special exemptions or treatment. 8. ALL CONTRACTS WITH PAST AND PRESENT CONGRESSMEN ARE VOID Effective 1/1/12.
This idea is like the old joke, “what do you call 100 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start”. I like the idea but it falls a bit short of my expectations.
53 a) The Important Issues & polarization (opinion)
Have you ever wondered why most politicians tend to avoid the important issues? I have. The primary reasons that they ignore the critical issues like the national debt (and associated “unfunded” liabilities), the budget deficit, killing our young men & women overseas, our massively accelerating cost of health care (without providing quality care), the unwarranted and ever increasing cost of advanced education, our enormous incarceration rate, among others.
My guess is that the main reason is that either the solution is unknown or not politically acceptable for re-election purposes. My initial gut reaction is to blame our elected representatives who are in a position to address the problems. However, I think the real culprit is our system for electing and retaining said representatives. I have discussed, at length, in earlier posts the problems with the two-party system, the Electoral College & the lack of term limits. Therefore, please refer back to these posts for the details. To solve most, if not all of our problems we need to adhere to the intent of the Founding Fathers with regard to tenure. They viewed representation as a “duty” to serve in a temporary capacity and then return to their actual careers. My guess is they would be appalled by the culture of “career politicians” that has developed in their country.
What is typical is that politicians tend to focus on the negatives of an opponent or the “other” party. It seems like the real intent is to polarize voters and create an environment where we are too busy fighting among ourselves to pay any attention to the real problems.